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A Horrible Way to Die [Blu-ray]

73 customer reviews

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(Sep 06, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Forget everything you've ever seen in a serial killer movie and get ready for the chiller that stunned festival audiences around the world: Notorious murderer Garrick Turrell (AJ Bowen of HOUSE OF THE DEVIL and HATCHET II) has escaped from police custody and resumed his killing spree. His former girlfriend Sarah (Amy Seimetz of ALEXANDER THE LAST) is a recovering alcoholic trying to put her life back together in a new town with a new man (Joe Swanberg of NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS). Her past continues to haunt her. And now her ex-boyfriend is leaving a trail of slaughter in his hunt to find her. From Adam Wingard, the director of the award-winning film POP SKULL and screenwriter Simon Barrett (DEAD BIRDS) comes the movie experience that is emotionally raw, disturbingly graphic and brutally real. Prepare yourself for A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg
  • Directors: Adam Wingard
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2011
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0055V0K90
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,884 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David Swan VINE VOICE on September 21, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was so excited to get this film. The title of my review would be `A Horrible Film to Watch'. All I had to do now was sit through this direct to video dreck and then slap out a review. Problem is the movie wasn't bad and I had to shelve my snarky review title. Sure it has problems but by and large I think it's successful in achieving the director's vision (for better or for worse).

The story basically follows two threads. First, we follow serial killer Garrick Turrell as he escapes police capture and resumes his killing spree. We actually spend quite a bit of time with the killer and it's clear that he's tortured [so to speak] by his own evil acts even as he commits them. This could have been handled in an eye rolling manner but I thought it was actually done quite well. AJ Bowen gives a pretty good performance as a self loathing killer. In fact I thought the casting overall was well done. The other storyline follows a pair of recovering alcoholics, Sarah and Kevin, who begin a relationship after they meet at an AA meeting. Based on the title I assumed that at some point Sarah, Kevin and Garrick would meet and someone, maybe everyone, would die horribly. It wasn't something I looked forward to since the director did a good job of making Sarah and Kevin both believable and sympathetic. My concern was that the director was just setting the audience up for an extended, cringe worthy torture scene. I won't spill the beans on what happens but the ending was not as I predicted.

So where does the movie go wrong? The photography is vomit inducing. The camera pans in, the camera pans out, we get weird little cuts and sometimes it feels like the cameraman just sort of gently goes to sleep as the camera slowly falls away. Most scenes end with the camera losing focus causing me eyestrain.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By The Straw Man VINE VOICE on October 13, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am not sure why but I expected so much less from this movie when I popped it in my DVD player. I cannot explain why I had this bias, but I did. I am very happy to say that this movie surprised me. I found it to be very engaging, different, disturbing and (somewhat) believable. In other words, I really liked it.

To summarize the plot, Sarah (Amy Seimetz) is recently sober and has been attending AA meetings for about four months. Still waters run deep with Sarah and it is written over her face that there is emotional turbulence plaguing her life. In her home group she meets Kevin (Joe Swanberg) and an awkward intimacy blooms between the two of them. Meanwhile, Garrick Turrell (AJ Bowen) is an extremely dangerous serial killer who has just escaped from prison and is on the run. As he eludes the authorities he begins killing again. Garrick's goal is to go after Sarah; she is both his ex-girlfriend and the one who turned him in.

I do not want to minimize the plot, but this is basically the story. I am not attempting to belittle the story, but it isn't very complex. Notwithstanding, the manner in which the tale unfolds is what makes it unique. The narrative is interwoven; the present and former events are blended together. A perfect example of this is Sarah working and then going to AA meeting morphs to her being at home with Garrick. The movie isn't very linear. I actually find non-liner to be very refreshing, yet even I was befuddled at times. As for the violence, it is true dualism in the sense that it is subtle and graphic. Some of the killings are left to the imagination and others are a splatter fest. This is a movie making ruse I haven't seen before and I welcomed it.

I felt the acting in this film was really good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By trashcanman VINE VOICE on September 28, 2011
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Don't be misled by A Horrible Way to Die's misleading grindhouse-tastic title. Up until the film's final minutes, there is but one onscreen death, and every Argento fan has seen much worse. This is not an exploitative B-horror movie filling the screen with blood and death. This is a slow-burn lead-up that takes two character threads and slowly brings them together into one of the most never-see-it-coming sequence of twists I've ever seen. Up until then it's not really a thrilling film, and actually seems to suffer from an identity crisis of sorts while leaving questions unanswered (like "how does seeing a screw on the floor of a police car equal an escape from custody?") in it's push to get to the finale. But if you are a fan of serial killer films, I can't honestly say you should pass this one by. It is a rare original.

A Horrible Way to Die is the story of two people. One, a notorious serial killer with a rabid online fan base, and the other an innocent woman trying to get her life together through Alcoholics Anonymous. While the killer evades police and racks up his body count while on the road, the woman begins a relatably awkward romance with a fellow recovering alcoholic. What these two stories have to do with one another, you will have to wait and see. The film takes it's time slowly filling in backstory and details of the past using flashbacks, but once it gets there AHWTD really earns it's stripes.

As serial killer films go, this is one that eschews both the standards of Hollywood and the excesses of slasher and hardcore horror films. This one is first and foremost about the characters, and the cast does an excellent job of portraying the vulnerability of it's characters.
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